With the introduction of the Bronco II in 1984, Ford's mini-pickup was no longer the Lone Ranger. Today's Nice Price or Crack Pipe 5.0-powered Bronco II could be a great off-roading companion, but will its price render it forever alone?
Zoom zoom! You guys are sure in a good mood this week, perhaps due to the anticipation of Thursday's turkeygasm and a weekend of football. Regardless of the reason, yesterday's gnarly little Mazda 323 GTX gained an 83% Nice Price win for its trouble. In fact, the worst thing many of you had to say about that car was that it was located in California, a state in which you would be afraid to set foot lest you become a hemp-smoking tree hugger hippie. Peace man.
In keeping with the theme of all-wheel drive today's candidate requires all four of its corners to pull their own weight, and weighs them down a little more than stock with the addition of a 5.0 V8 where once there was but a six.
Ford, like Hollywood, loves a sequel. However, differing from the cinematic sloppy seconds, which by their nature must be bigger in scope than their predecessors, the Blue Oval boys have always made their follow up features smaller and less grandious. This has resulted in the LTD II, lamentable Mustang II, and today's offering, the Bronco II. Like a Hollywood re-tread, the Bronco II takes a successful formula - in this case the full-sized Bronco - and repackages it in a way that differentiates it from the original. In this case that meant going the Steve Martin route and getting small. The Bronco II is based on the Ranger mini pickup frame and because of that is a a mini SUV.
Its Ranger base caused some issues for the Bronco II, as it was overly narrow in relation to the added height necessitated by its off-roading aspirations. This resulted in a truck that was tippy canoe and tyler too, and presented Ford with their biggest product liability challenge since the Pinto flambe incidents. Of course, if you're aware of the particular handling propensities of the Bronco II then you'll know not to make sudden turns at speed or transport engine blocks on its roof, lest it roll over Beethoven.
Making the challenge a little more onerous, this ‘88 Bronco II has had a 5.0 V8 dropped under hood. That boosts the ponies from the original 2.9 V6's 140 to likely over 200. The ad describes the entire exhaust system but fails to make mention of any catalytic converters, so smogging this Bronco II in many a state may be a fool's errand. Behind that potentially egregious polluter is Ford's overdrive AOD and. . . hey! Where're you going? Aw come on, you really want to have a stick in something like this? Having an automatic means your limbs will be freed up to brace yourself when it inevitably goes tits up on an icy highway. Also on a positive note, the seller claims only 23K on the rebuilt engine and transmission.
Anyway, the conversion from 6 to 8 is claimed to have been done with the utmost in professionalism, and while the 5.0 is crammed in the engine bay tighter than Christina Aguilera into a party dress, it still looks plenty serviceable. Other changes are apparent in the cabin where a set of Thunderbird seats have been mounted, between which sits a custom console with 5.0 HO emblazoned on the armrest in a queer bit of branding. Those seats, while matching the rest of the lipstick red interior look like they have been participants in a sharting contest and made it all the way to the final rounds. Obviously riding commando in this Bronco II is not an option.
Outside, the truck looks intact and rust-free. The paint is 9-year old two-tone, white over what looks to be flat black bedliner, giving it the appearance of an old iPod, and making the Apple sticker in the back window completely appropriate. Wheels are chrome Cragars and the truck sits on an inch and half lift. Brakes are said to be redone as well.
The seller has the truck listed on the Rangerstation which is patrolled by the most rabid of Ranger and Bronco II fans, but despite that friendly venue, has been unable to move the truck at his original price of $4,500. He's now dropped it to $4,250, at which price he has gathered only two responses to his post - and they're both from him. Is his price still to high? Does the 5.0 actually detract from its value? Or, should potential buyers be doing cartwheels over this truck at that price?
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